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Collaborative Research: Center for Mobile Hands-on STEM

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.282.1 - 24.282.6



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Paper Authors

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Kenneth A Connor Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Kathleen Meehan University of Glasgow


Dianna L. Newman University at Albany/SUNY

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Dr. Dianna Newman is Research Professor and Director of the Evaluation Consortium at the University at Albany/SUNY. Her major areas of study are program evaluation with an emphasis in STEM related programs. She has numerous chapters, articles, and papers on technology supported teaching and learning as well as systems change stages pertaining to technology adoption.

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Deborah Walter Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Bonnie H. Ferri Georgia Institute of Technology

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Yacob Astatke Morgan State University

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Mohamed F. Chouikha Howard University

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Collaborative Research: Center for Mobile Hands-On STEMRemarkable progress has been made in the development and implementation of hands-onlearning in STEM education. The mantra of See One, Do One, Teach One overly simplifies theidea but does provide a helpful structure to understand how many engineering educators areattempting to change the learning experience of our students. Until recently, this effort has beenfaced with a major limitation. While we can easily incorporate traditional paper and pencil andnumerical analysis, synthesis, and simulation in our classrooms, the remaining key aspect ofdoing the job of an engineer – experimentation – has only been included through the use ofexpensive and limited-access lab facilities. Small, low-cost Mobile Hands-On STEM (MHOS)learning platforms (e.g., myDAQ, Analog Discovery, and Circuit Gear Mini) provide almostunlimited opportunities to solve this remaining problem in engineering courses. Pedagogy basedon these tools has been implemented and studied in several NSF funded projects and has beensuccessful transferred to other institutions in the US and in other countries. As these newlearning platforms are the price of a textbook or less, thousands of students each year are beinggiven the opportunity to learn in this exciting new pedagogical environment. In all cases inwhich hands-on learning has been studied, the pedagogy has been successfully implemented,even in traditionally theory-only based courses, with more engaged students and instructorshands-on learning as one of the results. Although the initial assessments of this new approach toSTEM education argue for broad application, the definitive case for its adoption has yet to bedocumented so that all STEM educators can fully appreciate its merit. Thus, the most effectiveapproach to STEM education is still in question in the broader community and best practicemethods of dissemination of the MHOS pedagogy to the entire STEM community have not yetbeen identified.The Center for Mobile Hands-On STEM is pursuing activities that support the following goals: I. Gather strong evidence of the effectiveness of Mobile Hands-On STEM pedagogy on student learning II. Develop an effective and pro-active dissemination strategy for the entire STEM educational community.To achieve these goals, we are: documenting evidence already available at MHOS partner institutions on mobile hands-on learning. developing standardized assessment tools for the MHOS partner institutions. creating and implementing new assessment tools that measure student learning, including the development of new concept inventories, as well as measure ease of adoption by instructors. identifying implementation barriers for wide-spread adoption and how these might be overcome by engaging potential new adopters in workshops, working with faculty who have recently received funding to implement the mobile pedagogy, and holding focus groups among different constituencies. holding a practitioners’ best practices workshop to build a community of users to pool expertise. conducting a series of mini workshops to introduce mobile hands-on learning to instructors from these different constituencies and will pilot a full-scale workshop for new instructors to mobile hands-on learning near the end of the proposed program.

Connor, K. A., & Meehan, K., & Newman, D. L., & Walter, D., & Ferri, B. H., & Astatke, Y., & Chouikha, M. F. (2014, June), Collaborative Research: Center for Mobile Hands-on STEM Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20173

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